The provincial government of Bali is in the process of preparing new laws that will help control rabies by introducing rules and procedures affecting pet ownership.
The draft legislation, being discussed in a series of public hearings, stipulate:
• Any dog, cat or pet monkey running loose on public streets is subject to capture and detention.
• Pet owners will be able to claim their pets back after paying the cost of warding their pet in a detention center.
• Pets not claimed can be offered for adoption, but may be euthanized if new homes cannot be found.
• Pet owners will be required to register their pets with local animal control authorities.
• Pet shops and pet dealers must be officially licensed.
• Owners will be required to keep their pets under control and provide preventative inoculations.
The draft legislation, if approved, would set a new standard of attention to animal welfare on the island and require the authorities to build a pet pound to house captured pets awaiting reclaiming, adoption or extermination.
The new law is likely to prove controversial with many Balinese families who maintain a loose master-pet relationship with their dogs; allowing pets to come and go as they please from their family compound.
Another part of the new pet owner law also provides for 6 months of imprisonment and fines of up to Rp. 50 million (US$5,450) if anyone fails to report suspected cases of rabies to the authorities.
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